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Monday, August 27, 2007 

On Tour - 2/2

The Taj Mahal’s designers had a great sense of magnanimity in overwhelming a visitor. From the point where the rickshaw dropped us, its almost a one km walk up to the main entrance. At the entrance we saw that there were different ticket rates for Indians and foreign nationals. Usually you just look at such information and go on, but we actually had someone with us who could qualify as US citizen. Our gujarati bhai harry. I asked teased harry a little saying that he should pay the 25$ that all foreigners were paying, but he being a typical Indian and a baniya was unperturbed. We went inside with Rs10 tickets for all five of us.
The sight of the Taj gets to you at first glance no matter how many times you have seen it. It’s a thing about the Taj that it doesn’t seem like its that big on TV but in reality it is huge. As most of us were gazing the beauty of the Taj, the little one among us was shell shocked. Harry actually had one of those pics taken of him holding the Taj from the top. He gave the photographer 100 bucks and he asked him to meet at the gate when we are finished seeing the Taj and he’ll give him the bill. We roamed around the Taj, got a guide as well who told us some interesting things as well. Once you enter the Taj that’s when you realise that there is not much really to see, but just absorb the finesse of the craftsmen who made it. We finished watching the Taj inside out got some photographs from the camera I told you earlier and came back to the main gate where the photographer had asked us to come.
As we came out we had sort of got separated, harry had gone looking for the photographer, some of us had gone to the loo. Then I spotted harry talking to a policeman, more of a constable as I made my way towards him the policeman had ended his conversation with harry and left. I inquired as to what it was all about and harry told me. Basically Harry is like 6feet tall, pretty healthy in those days, with moustache that resemble American convicts and he was wearing his Laker’s jacket which gave him an overall foreigner type look. So the policeman asked him where he was from. Harry told him that he was from
India. I said then what. Harry said the policeman was not yet convinced so he asked him “acha batao India ka President kaun hai?”….and Harry said I replied with the masterstroke, I told him “its Atal Behari Vajpayee”. It’s difficult to find actual moments in life where your spine rather than just stomach aches due to laughter. The four of us can still feel the tinge in our spines from laughing so hard that day. Thankfully harry had met his match in the policeman or else we would have been sitting in the nearby thana for all we know.
We then went across to the Taj to have some food, it felt delicious although it was crap as we were hungry. Harry also bought a small Taj showpiece for all of 10 bucks, for which he was very excited too because for the first time he had bargained for something. And money saved it directly proportional to happiness for him. From there we headed to the Red fort as its almost a ritual to see both places. There is a saying that there exists an underground tunnel from the Agra Red fort to the Delhi Red fort, but no one has a clue where it starts. We though the guide might tell us a bit about it, but even he knew little apart from global fundas. By the time we had finished with the Red fort seeing we were pretty tired and roled out on the grassy lawns around the fort. There are some nice pictures of that lawn where we are relaxing. Reminds of a time when things were easy.
On our way back we were down to just four people as Sahu was to head to
Jhansi. From Agra virtually every train going southwards goes to Jhansi so Sahu was away quickly. We were a little tired from the standing journey to Agra so we decided to get reserved seats on our way back. As I was standing in queue for reservation the teller guy told me to switch lines as there was a special line for Taj express. I switched lines waited for 20 minutes in the other queue and when my turn came the window closed out. I went back to the first queue demanding a reservation as I was in a queue where I could have got a ticket for Taj as well. The teller said something to me that I didn’t like. Nothing really nasty actually. But since we had time to spare we decided to take on the teller guy. We entered the reservation office I told the incharge that I want to register a complaint against the guys behaviour. I was just trying to unnerve the guy so that he says something more and my case becomes stronger. I kept arguing with him and the incharge and Zubin also slipped in. then Zubin was getting high on pitch. But then we decided that the train was about to come and we relented and told the guy that we are letting him off. We laughed a lot as soon as we came out of the office. Not because we were doing something out of the ordinary but because we had just had a fight for almost no reason.

After we boarded the train all of us were so exhausted that I don’t remember much of what happened after that. I remember sitting alone as the Taj has 3x3 seats so I got a seat on the other side. I must have been savoring the good times. Maybe just to write a blog one day. A great day it was and more so because it was not the way we had planned it to be, but maybe because it unfolded right in front of our eyes. I think the feeling of control and independence were the main outputs of that excursion. Or maybe it was just the day that brought us closer for years and years to come.

P.S. : This blog is not about Harsh Mehta neither any attempt to tarnish his image of the real stud boy of the group. Haven’t seen him in a long time but they say the baby has reduced the umber of pounds around him. Talk about ‘wonders of the world’.

never gift a taj mahal showpiece to ur gf....moral of the story

Nice... very nice :)

yo man...funny...! :D

Gud one.. hey shreyas .. that president of India thing..did DD really replied that

Nishant - haan yaar DD actually said tht and the policewala believed him...crazy world!!!

hahahahahhahahahahahahahahah..Those days

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